Like GameStop before it, AMC Theatres gained a lot of attention earlier this year from meme stock enthusiasts hoping to profit from a short squeeze. The multinational entertainment company continues its momentum, and CEO Adam Aron says they are currently “hyperactive on cryptocurrency." In fact, Aron has suggested that AMC may issue its own cryptocurrency.
Doubling down on blockchain technology, Aron discussed the company's goals in an interview with CNBC and alluded to the many plans the company has in store. The CEO expressed that “There are a lot of reasons why AMC could be a successful issuer of cryptocurrency as well as a redeemer of cryptocurrency," suggesting that there is a token issuance in the works.
AMC is progressive when it comes to digital assets and aims to continue developing.
In Aug. 2021, AMC showed how committed it was to advancing the future of payment and merchandising by announcing plans to accept Bitcoin payments for movie tickets by the end of the year.
Subsequently, the company announced it would extend beyond Bitcoin to altcoins such as Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), giving customers more options and exposure to crypto.
Some AMC supporters were disappointed that the company didn't share plans to accept Dogecoin (DOGE) initially. However, after a Twitter poll by Aron revealed that a majority of respondents would pay in DOGE, AMC announced in October that it would begin accepting DOGE as a form of payment.
To further appeal to customers, AMC also announced it would let them purchase AMC gift cards with crypto—a concept many merchants have not come around to yet.
Despite many retailers' reluctance to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment, AMC's move could catalyze a bigger shift in the widespread adoption of crypto.
While more companies, like Facebook, are growing "bullish" on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, regulatory barriers persist and mount impeding on developments.
Regulatory concerns may make token issuance difficult
Cryptocurrency and blockchain's rapid growth over the last year has made it especially clear that regulators can no longer turn a blind eye to the developments. As regulatory concerns grow, AMC is set for a monumental task in creating its own crypto.
Token issuance has not proven to be an easy feat, even for regulated companies, and often comes with some backlash from regulators. The first full securities registration for a company issuing crypto tokens, INX Limited, did not occur until August.
Although the decision reflects the SEC's acceptance of crypto tokens, the approval comes with limitations. INX acknowledges that investors are "likely to be limited in their ability to engage in secondary trading of INX tokens.”
As more regulatory clarity is needed, legal uncertainty regarding the trading of security tokens prevents many ambitious projects from being fully developed.
If AMC succeeds, it could be the first major merchant in the U.S. to commercialize the use of crypto for entertainment.